July 2016 Update (Vol. 1)

Since issuing our June 2016 summary last week, several new developments in the 2020 Census universe compel us to send an early July update sooner than expected. We will provide another wrap-up later in the month. We hope you find this information helpful.


Calls for public comments: The Census Bureau published several notices in the Federal Register in the past several days, inviting comments from the public.

  1. 2020 Census residence rules — As we reported in the June 2016 Update, the Census Bureau is moving to finalize the set of rules governing where people are counted in the census. The proposed 2020 residence rules, now officially called the 2020 Census Residence Criteria and Residence Situations, were published in the Federal Register on June 30th; the 32-day public comment period runs through August 1, 2016.Of particular note in the proposed final residence criteria:
  • The Census Bureau is proposing no change in how it will count incarcerated persons, who will still be counted at the correctional facility where they are housed on Census Day. For more information on advocacy efforts to have incarcerated persons counted at their home address, visit the Prison Policy Initiative website.The Bureau will offer two data products to assist States that want to redraw their legislative boundaries based on other criteria or create alternative tabulations for other purposes. First, the 2020 Census Redistricting Summary File (“PL 94-171” data) will include Group Quarters population data. Second, in accordance with specific guidelines (yet to be specified), states can request a special dataset containing supplemental information they can use to construct different within-state tabulations for their own use.
  • The Census Bureau is proposing to change the criteria for counting deployed military personnel who are stationed or assigned to a stateside military base. In previous censuses dating back to 1990, all members of the armed forces and federal civilian employees who were serving overseas during the census (and any dependents who lived with them) were included only in the census-derived state population totals used to apportion seats in the U.S. House of Representatives; they were counted, using administrative data, at their “home of record,” which reflects where they enlisted or reenlisted in the military or entered public service. (Prior to 1990, the overseas population was not included in the apportionment base, with one exception in 1970, when troops fighting the Vietnam War were counted for this purpose.)Under the proposed new policy, deployed military personnel who are stationed/assigned in the U.S. will be included in the U.S. resident population counts that are used for all purposes, including apportionment, redistricting, and the allocation of federal program funds. Their “usual residence” will be determined using administrative data from the Department of Defense. All other members of the armed forces and federal employees assigned overseas during the census will continue to be included only in the state population totals used for congressional apportionment.
  • For 2020, the Census Bureau proposes to count juveniles in non-correctional residential treatment centers at their home address (unless they do not have a usual home elsewhere). This is a change from 2010, when this population was counted at the treatment facility.
  1. Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA) program — Also on June 30th, the Census Bureau published a Federal Register notice outlining its plans for the LUCA Operation, which gives state, local, and tribal governments (including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico) an opportunity to review preliminary address lists and digital maps for their jurisdictions and to submit corrections (adds, deletes, changes, etc.). The LUCA Operation will run from January 2017 through June 2020. The comment period ends on August 29, 2016.
  1. Address canvassing testing — In a Federal Register notice dated July 5th, the Commerce Department published detailed information for the Address Canvassing (AdCan) Operation tests in Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 (part of the Puerto Rico Test). The Fall 2016 AdCan Test will lay the groundwork for the Spring 2017 Census Test in Buncombe County, North Carolina, and parts of St. Louis, Missouri. Interested stakeholders should submit comments on the AdCan Testing within 30 days.As part of its plan to modernize and contain the cost of the 2020 Census, the Census Bureau is reengineering the AdCan process by relying on administrative and commercial data and aerial imagery to update the Master Address File (MAF) and TIGER mapping system with “In-Office” procedures. The Bureau estimates that In-Office AdCan will cover roughly 75 percent of the nation’s housing units and Group Quarters facilities in areas not undergoing significant change. For the remaining 25 percent of living quarters, temporary address listers will verify the MAF/TIGER through the In-Field AdCan operation.

Census advisory committee nominations: The Census Bureau is seeking nominations for its National Advisory Committee (NAC) on Racial, Ethnic, and Other Populations. The 32-member committee advises the Census Director on a wide range of issues related to Census Bureau surveys and programs, including research, operational, and communication strategies, survey design and implementation, and usefulness of data products, with a focus on increasing participation among hard-to-count population groups and ensuring accurate, relevant statistics and inclusive programs. Nominations of individuals or organizations must be submitted by July 15th. Further information on the process is available in the Federal Register.


  • Business community urges both political parties to support census, ACS — Nine leading business and industry associations sent a letter to the chairs of the Republican and Democratic National Committees, urging the parties to confirm their support for the 2020 Census and American Community Survey in their respective presidential party platforms. The letters are posted on the Marketing Research Association (MRA) website.